A hospital in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, has been fined 100,000
yuan (US$12,820) for accepting payment by stolen social security
cards last year, social security fund officials told a press
The officials did not reveal the name of the hospital but warned
social security card owners to keep their cards safe.
The two cards were used on the same day. One of them was used
nine times, the other 19 times. Almost all the money on the cards
-- totaling nearly 10,000 yuan -- was used to buy a diabetes
medicine, Novolin, said Du Bin, a spokesman for the social security
fund center. Nine doctors and 13 accountants were involved, he
The owners of the cards did not report their loss to the social
security fund center, although one of them reported it to the
police, Du said.
According to Chinese law, social security cards can only be used
by and for the cardholders, and hospitals are obliged to check
holders' identities. Hospitals can be fined six to 10 times the
medical costs of anyone using stolen or borrowed cards.
Shen Hualiang, director with the medical insurance department
under the municipal labor and social security bureau, said the
thief or thieves probably had bought the medicine to resell for
cash. "It's unusual for one person to buy Novolin nine times in one
day," he said.
Similar cases have been reported in other cities. Medicines for
tumors and diabetes are the most popular for thieves because they
are in high demand, Shen said.
The social security fund center launched an investigation into
the hospital after the Southern Metropolis Daily reported
that a man was asking social security cardholders to buy medicines
from the hospital and sell them to him at a 40-percent
In the report published March 29, the man told a reporter posing
as a cardholder that somebody had sold medicines worth more than
10,000 yuan. The reporter found the man from sticker advertisements
in Yuanling area, Luohu District.
More than 6 million Shenzheners are covered by the social
security medical insurance scheme with an average 3,000 yuan in
each participant's account. Each participant can pay his or her
medical fees from the account with the social security fund
covering part of the remaining cost.
Shen said it did not make sense for ordinary people to buy
medicines with their own cards and re-sell them to others at a
40-percent discount. "Only stolen cards can be used that way," said
The case is still being investigated.
(Shenzhen Daily April 4, 2007)